Love Has No Boundaries: An Intercultural Wedding at the Grand Ledge Opera House

Grand Ledge Opera House wedding photos

Skyin and Barret were married at the Grand Ledge Opera House. I loved watching their families connect, despite the fact that they live halfway around the world from each other (Skyin is from China, and Barret is from here in Michigan), and they speak different languages.

From Skyin, the bride:

“I love sky, in all kinds of forms, with favorites being clouds in the big blue sky or sunrise or sunset. That’s also I name myself “Skyin” as my English name. Barret sometimes behaves like a bear to me and also his name sounds like bear so sometimes I refer him as my Bear.

Our wedding line is ‘Love has no boundaries,’ and much of our signage and decor [was] travel/world map/postcard themed. It is from the facts that we are from different countries and I work in the international education field, and I am always promoting intercultural understanding and communication. We are a living example that love connects people and breaks barriers. Love is magical…it will translate whatever or whenever we can’t or won’t understand each other.

I want to celebrate our relationship since it is a truly an amazing thing, and we have been through a lot, and I am so proud of us. At the same time, we used this as an opportunity to provide that intercultural experience for some of our guests who otherwise may not have that. Hopefully they will be inspired to travel, to meet someone who are different from them and to be more adventurous, open, inclusive and welcoming.”

Scroll to the bottom for vendors.

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full group photo at Grand Ledge Opera House
The Grand Ledge Opera House has a great place for a full group photo out back.

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Wedding Vendors:
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3 Tips for Including Your Dog in Photos

East Lansing engagement photos with dogs

Are you thinking about including your dog in your photos? Here are five quick tips to make sure it’s a success.

East Lansing engagement photos with pet dog

1. Bring a Helper

You probably won’t want your dog or dogs in every single photo, so bring one helper per dog to help out. Start out with the dog, and then have the helper take the dog home while we take photos with the humans.

East Lansing engagement photos with dog

2. Bring Treats

You never know when your dog will need a little encouragement to cooperate.

East Lansing engagement photos with pet dog

3. Set Your Expectations

We’ll likely get some great photos interacting with your dog (doggie snuggles and walking almost always work out great for photos). But if you have an energetic pup, don’t worry if you can’t get him or her to sit perfectly still and smile. We’ll still get great photos.

East Lansing engagement photos with dog

East Lansing MSU engagement photos with dog

East Lansing Michigan State engagement photos with dog

East Lansing MSU engagement photos

East Lansing MSU engagement photos with dog

East Lansing MSU engagement photos with dog

Kim + Tony’s Relaxed, Elegant Planterra Conservatory Wedding Photos in West Bloomfield, Michigan

Planterra Conservatory Wedding Photos in West Bloomfield, Michigan, by Allie & Co. wedding photographers

I kicked off my 2019 wedding season with Kim and Tony’s wedding at Planterra Conservatory in West Bloomfield last weekend, and was absolutely jaw dropping.

Every detail was a dream come true, from the long, sweeping tables filled with candles and garland to the impeccable service by the staff at Planterra and so so many friendly faces that made the day a joy.

Kim and Tony never seemed stressed – they were both such a joy to spend the day with, and they seemed to be having the best time every time I turned my camera their way.

Thanks to absolutely everyone who made this day special. Scroll down to the bottom of this post for a full list of wedding vendors who helped make Kim and Tony’s wedding day what it was.

wedding invitation suite from Planterra Conservatory Wedding Photos in West Bloomfield, Michigan, by Allie & Co. wedding photographers
wedding shoes from Planterra Conservatory Wedding Photos in West Bloomfield, Michigan, by Allie & Co. wedding photographers
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getting ready in the bridal suite at Planterra Conservatory Wedding Photos in West Bloomfield, Michigan, by Allie & Co. wedding photographers
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ceremony at Planterra Conservatory, Wedding Photos in West Bloomfield, Michigan, by Allie & Co. wedding photographers
ceremony at Planterra Conservatory, Wedding Photos in West Bloomfield, Michigan, by Allie & Co. wedding photographers
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reception design, flowers, garland, long candles, long tables, wooden chairs; Planterra Conservatory, Wedding Photos in West Bloomfield, Michigan, by Allie & Co. wedding photographers
reception design, flowers, garland, long candles, long tables, wooden chairs; Planterra Conservatory, Wedding Photos in West Bloomfield, Michigan, by Allie & Co. wedding photographers
reception design, flowers, garland, long candles, long tables, wooden chairs; Planterra Conservatory, Wedding Photos in West Bloomfield, Michigan, by Allie & Co. wedding photographers
reception design, flowers, garland, long candles, long tables, wooden chairs; Planterra Conservatory, Wedding Photos in West Bloomfield, Michigan, by Allie & Co. wedding photographers
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Forte Belanger dessert (West Bloomfield caterers) at Planterra Conservatory, Wedding Photos in West Bloomfield, Michigan, by Allie & Co. wedding photographers
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Wedding Vendors:

Learn more about Allie & Co. Wedding Photography >

An Engagement Session at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool and Lincoln Park Conservatory

Chicago engagement photos at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool (Pond)

I spent about four years living in Chicago—it’s where I first discovered the Chicago Photography Center, the nonprofit where I took just about every photography class that I could on the evenings and weekends while I worked for a large PR agency in a high-rise downtown.

Chicago is where Jeff and I originally planned to get married (before our venue went out of business, and rearranged our entire plans to get married in Mexico instead). It’s where Jeff proposed, where I met many dear friends as I started my new life after graduating from MSU, and where I spent a summer working as a second photographer before someone took a chance on me and hired me to photograph my very first solo wedding (which, lucky for me, was at an amazing wedding venue that instantly took my portfolio to a new level).

Chicago was the place where I first went out on my own as a business owner—leaving behind the relative certainty of a steady job to discover the rush of working for myself. It’s also the place we visited before hopping on a plane with only two carry on suitcases to move to Washington DC for nine months back in 2013.

I don’t get back there nearly as often as I used to, but we met some of our closest friends while we were living there (friends who convinced us to go skiing in Colorado, take a 13-month-old to Hawaii to celebrate the new year in 2014, to take two kids to Costa Rica for a week, and to go on all kinds of other travel adventures). They’ve moved outside of the city since we moved away, but it’s still a treat to get back there when we can.

Erin and Alex gave me just the excuse I was looking for last summer when they mentioned photographing their engagement session in Chicago a year ahead of their Michigan wedding. I originally convinced myself we’d be able to sail our boat across Lake Michigan from St. Joseph for the session, but I quickly realized how impractical that idea was, and so I made plans to drive in.

If you’re looking to plan an engagement session at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, make sure that you get a permit ahead of time.

And one more quick note—this is a full session (60 minutes), which is usually enough time for two nearby locations and two outfits.

Chicago engagement photos at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool (Pond) Chicago engagement photos at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool (Pond) Chicago engagement photos at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool (Pond) Chicago engagement photos at the Lincoln Park Conservatory Chicago engagement photos at the Lincoln Park Conservatory Chicago engagement photos at the Lincoln Park Conservatory Chicago engagement photos at the Lincoln Park Conservatory Chicago engagement photos at the Lincoln Park Conservatory Chicago engagement photos at the Lincoln Park Conservatory Chicago engagement photos at the Lincoln Park Conservatory Chicago engagement photos at the Lincoln Park Conservatory Chicago engagement photos at the Lincoln Park Conservatory Chicago engagement photos at the Lincoln Park Conservatory Chicago engagement photos at the Lincoln Park Conservatory

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